“Never apologize for your art.” Someone once said this to me after I read some poetry that I had attempted to write. I’ll be honest, it was not very good, so naturally I apologized for the poor quality. It was a complete stranger that said it which made it all the more powerful. Since then I have been doing my best to take ownership of my writing. Because, it is my art, it is how I express myself, and without it I would be lost.
One of my best friends recently told me: “The world needs your words.” He has been extremely supportive of my writing, almost everyone has. From friends to family to complete strangers. So why is it I have such a hard time supporting my own writing? I have had so much encouragement, both with my blog and with my novel writing. Why can’t I see it as more than just a thing I do? Maybe if I believed in myself a little more I would put more effort in and finally finish the book I’ve been working on for almost three years.
The story is all here, rolling around in my head, just waiting to flow through my hands and onto the blank pages. Lately I seem to have writer’s block, at least with my fictional work. I’ve let one or two people outside of my writer’s circle read a few of the five chapters I have completed, I’ve been told I have a way with words that draws people in and makes them want to read. I have a horrible fear of losing that, of finally finishing my book, going back to read it over and absolutely hating every single word I wrote.
I’ve never been very good at bragging about myself. I’ve always believed that everything I do is mediocre…average at best. I guess one of my goals is to one day take full ownership of my art. To be able to show someone my book and say:”I wrote this, I’m proud of it and if you don’t like it you can bugger right off.” I’ve always struggled with that kind of confidence in most aspects of my life. But when it comes to being an author, you really have to put yourself and your work out there. It’s something I need to work on.
I also need to work on accepting criticism from others and not doling it out to myself. There will be people who don’t like what I write, not everyone will be as encouraging as that stranger, or my mother, or my best friend. But why should I stop doing my best just because someone doesn’t give me the credit I deserve? I am my own worst critic after all, I am far more likely to find fault than anyone else. Perhaps that’s a good thing, it might just give me that extra push to write better. Is there anything wrong with holding myself to a higher standard? Is striving for perfection such a bad thing? “Perfection is unattainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.”
I refuse to settle, I have all these thoughts, feelings and words inside me just begging to be let out. If I were ever to give up writing I truly believe I would go mad. I’m lucky to have found my art so early in life. When or if you find your art, your outlet, the best way to express yourself; hold onto it, don’t let it get away from you. Because maybe, just maybe you can create something wonderful. So this is me, trying to take ownership of my art, my writing, my passion.